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PREY -tracking software query

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PREY -tracking software query

I have had PREY installed on my Windows 7 laptops for some years now... and, because I have now wiped the hdd, and installed Linux Mint the PREY site is reporting my two laptops in locations  100 miles away form me, and in two different locations...! .

Well, ok.. not a real problem,... however.. I tried to contact PREY by email, but they referred me back to the universal "question and answer" type help page, which does not cover my question to them, which was..

If I delete the two laptops, can I re-enter them because now they are running on Linux..  or will "the PREY system" reject them because of some motherboard type info being the duplicated on their systems.

 

I have downloaded and installed, ( apparently) PREY from the package manager.. and because I have had no notification or ICON on the desktop, to say that it is installed, or how to "activate" it, I did an install from the download on the PREY site.

which then said, that  "the same version is already installed"...

 

so ... my main questions here, are   how do I activate it on this , and the other laptop. 

                                                         do I delete them from the PREY site individually,  ( before or after adding a new one) I have a "spare" allocation , so I could (possibly) install this one as a "new" item, and then delete the original, but am concerned about the "duplicity" problem and rejection all together..

 

 

12 REPLIES 12
Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

If Prey is reporting a location then surely it's working? The problem is probably the source of the location data available to Prey. As I read it Prey uses whatever is available of either GPS data, location data based on local WiFi hotspots that are in range or the location of the server to which you are connected, which can be anywhere.

Presumably if the first two of these are not available it hasn't a clue really where you are.

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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@Baldrick1   Erm .. no... not really... you see.... I have been "off line". for the past week or so, as far as WINDOWS is concerned,....i.e. the original platform that PREY was installed on.. ( both machines)... Both machines have had their hard drives formatted, and are now running on LINUX...

Almost as soon as I connected, when using WINDOWS, on the 2nd laptop... I would get a report that it had come on line and was at "so and so" location  on a google map....which proved correct. when that 2nd machine had bee "put away" for a week, I would get another message... " xyz machine has not been seen for 7 days , everything alright ? " which is a "kinda" reminder, and discreetly asking if it has been stolen, and you haven`t noticed it missing...

 

Since this machine is my regular machine "on line"... it does not report, and would not, unless the machine is taken to a new location and logged on in the new location.  ( remember that was on WINDOWS ).

Now, according to the location screen at the moment... No1 machine is somewhere near Tunbridge Wells, and No2 machine is in Sheffield  (not far from plusnet towers ! ! !)..

Both of which are wrong...(one by 100 odd miles, the other by about 250 odd miles ).  and both of which are showing as "off line"... even though I am "on line" with this one. ! ! .

Tracking only works when "on line" with the "free" version... and you can have 3 items listed for tracking with the free version .. I have two listed at the moment, so have a "spare slot"... and I wanted to know If ...

If I set THIS machine up to slot 3.. if it would be recognised as one of the other two slots, and be rejected.. OR.. if I deleted the relevant slot for this one and then installed it in the spare slot... and then do the same with the other machine into "this" machine slot..

 

 

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@shutter 

But you haven't answers the question of where the location data comes from. I have just done a Google search for different websites that will locate you by IP address.  I got the following answers from across the geolocation sites I tried: Brighton, Maldon and three in Sheffield. I live closer to Birmingham than any of these locations. I can't answer why the Windows machine once worked, I was more interested of how it got the information. Could it have been coincidence? If I lived in Sheffield (I assume that it comes up Sheffield because that's where Plusnet live) and only checked with one or two of the sites that came up Sheffield then I might be telling people how good it is.

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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@Baldrick1  I don`t know where it gets the tracking info from... I assume it is something to do with the IP address and the location "registered" as "home" .  The machines are "off line" so maybe their default is reading stuff the same as you.

And ... I haven`t been to Sheffield for about 50 years or more..  and Tunbridge Wells was about 35 years ago.. both a long long long time before I had these two machines.. !

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

Now I'm getting confused. Isn't the purpose of this feature to read whatever data is available to locate the device, not simply assume that you are at home?

If it was me and I was not convinced that it was working I would first try going into my account and see if I could delete the machine from the registered devices before installing the Linux version and re-registering it. If that did not work I would just delete Prey and start again with the Linux version, using a different email address and/or username to register a new account.

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@shutter 

Thinking about it a bit more my assumption is that if Prey is offline it just assumes that you are at your home location, which you have entered into the settings. If you are away and it goes online then unless you have inbuilt GPS it tries to locate you from wireless hot spots and/or the IP address If there's no known wireless hot spots then all it's got is the IP address, which I have proved, depending on which data base it uses, can be Sheffield or anywhere else in the country. If there is one or two wireless hot spots maybe it tries to triangulate these with the IP address? One thing we know is that if IP address location is involved in any way that the results will be rubbish. Maybe IP address location is more accurately defined in other countries where this data is of use.

My guess is that it's working but lost your Home location somehow.

Did you by any chance take your laptop out and about before you updated it to Linux to see if this feature worked?

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Re: PREY -tracking software query

As mentioned... both machines have been off line... and still showing "off line" on my account page.

both machines have not been anywhere... least of all anywhere near Sheffield or Tunbridge Wells.

 

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

If Prey has lost your home locarion it's probably just defaulted to IP geolocation for your home location. If you're not convinced how inaccurate that these are then do a google search for IP geolocation websites and try a few to see where they think you are. 

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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@Baldrick1  You have taken this completely off topic... ! ! .. I`m not interested in  where PREY  "thinks" my present laptops are.... I wanted to know how to change their identities due to change of Operating System. 

I have posted something on, what I think is, some kind of support forum...but as PREY is U.S. based and might even be in California... I suspect nobody is up and about yet ... !

 

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

That's fine, I'll go away.

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Re: PREY -tracking software query

Aw. ! ... didn`t mean to upset you ! Wink

Baldrick1
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Re: PREY -tracking software query

@shutter 

I’m not upset at all. I just can’t contribute to answering your query. I must confess that I was more interested how the tracking could work without GPS or some form of local hot spot references.